Tag Archives: Aston Villa

Premier League Files: Andy Townsend

Premier League Career: Chelsea (1992-1993), Aston Villa (1993-1997), Middlesbrough (1998-1999)

Andy Townsend spent nearly 20 years playing and has forged a successful career as a co-commentator since his retirement from football in the year 2000. His most successful stint was with Aston Villa, captaining them to League Cup victory in 1996.

Andy began his playing career in the regional leagues. It all began in the Athenian League with Welling United in August 1980. Whilst that was the weekend job, the weekday role was working for Greenwich Borough Council as a computer operator.

It was professional football though that Townsend chased and he made his pro debut with Southampton in April 1985, having been signed for a paltry £35,000 by Lawrie McMenemy. His debut would come against Aston Villa and these two clubs would have another significant link in his career 11 years later.

He enjoyed a challenge, was a real grafter in the centre of midfield and could pop up with the occasional goal too. Southampton sold him to Norwich City in August 1988 for £300,000 and the 1988-1989 was the best individual season of Andy’s career. The Canaries reached the FA Cup semi-finals, finished fourth in the First Division and he was nominated for the PFA Players’ Player of the Year award which was eventually won by Manchester United forward Mark Hughes.

He would represent the Republic of Ireland at international level and played a telling role in their fabulous run to the quarter-finals of the 1990 World Cup, scoring in the penalty shootout victory over Romania in Genoa. As with many Norwich players after him, Townsend was cashed in just weeks later with Chelsea paying £1.2 million pounds. Although his individual performances continued to impress, the Blues’ finished no higher than 11th in the table during Andy’s three seasons in west London.

He moved to Aston Villa in the summer of 1993 and was part of the Villa squad that beat Manchester United in the 1994 League Cup final; the only silverware that the Red Devils’ didn’t win in the 1993-1994 season. He would skipper the side in 1996 to another final win over Leeds United. These two League Cup winners’ medals were the only major honours of Townsend’s professional career. In December 1996, Townsend scored the winning goal for Villa at The Dell against Southampton which was also the Premier League’s 5000th goal.

After 134 Premier League appearances for the Villans and eight goals, Townsend dropped down a division to join Bryan Robson’s Middlesbrough in September 1997. He helped them win promotion back to the top-flight at the first attempt, then made 37 appearances in 1998-1999 was Boro finished a solid ninth in the table. He also formed an impressive partnership with Paul Gascoigne on Teeside and the pair became close friends during their time together at the Riverside Stadium.

Despite interest from his former club Norwich, Townsend returned to the Midlands in September 1999 to finish his playing days at West Bromwich Albion. He retired in July 2000 due to a recurrent knee injury and turned down Gary Megson’s offer for a coaching role with the reserves’ to go into the media.

Townsend became ITV’s main co-commentator after Ron Atkinson’s departure in April 2004 and remained with the network for a decade. He left in 2015 and now works for BT Sport, alongside a consultancy role with Championship returnees Bolton Wanderers. His voice has also been used on many of EA Sports FIFA games alongside former ITV colleague Clive Tydlesey.

He wasn’t the most skilful but wouldn’t give anyone an inch. Andy Townsend was a useful and committed footballer during his career and a wise-head in the media industry nowadays.

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Premier League Files: Nicky Shorey

Premier League Career: Reading (2006-2008), (2012-2013), Aston Villa (2008-2009), Fulham (2010), West Bromwich Albion (2010-2012)

Now a coach at League Two side Stevenage, Nicky Shorey enjoyed his Premier League stint, featuring for four sides across seven years. He was most prominent at Reading, where he had two spells for the club, during which time; he managed to win two England caps from Steve McClaren.

Shorey grew up as a West Ham United fan. He started his career at Leyton Orient as an apprentice in 1998 before moving onto Reading in February 2001 for a fee of just £25,000. He would spend the next seven seasons with the club, helping them reach the promise land of the Premier League.

It wasn’t until October 2001 when he got a regular chance in the first-team. Shorey established himself, making 36 appearances and helping the club to promotion to the First Division. Now at a higher level, he made the transition look easy, scoring his first professional goal in October 2002 to win a match at home to Bradford City. Shorey helped Reading make the First Division play-offs where they were edged out by Wolverhampton Wanderers over two legs.

In 2004, there was a nasty scare for his career. Following a routine match with Stoke City which finished goalless, Shorey noticed at home that his foot had started swelling and was throbbing by the time he reached hospital. The resulting infection kept him in hospital for a fortnight and he received further treatment at home for three months on his departure from A&E.

In 2005-2006, he missed just two matches as the Royals’ finally achieved promotion to the Premier League. He was one of Reading’s superstars in their excellent debut season in the top-flight, when they defied all expectations to finish eighth and only narrowly miss out on European qualification. He missed just one match and scored in Reading’s 3-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur in November 2006. Praised for his excellent delivery from set-pieces, this was shown in full when he contributed to four of the team’s six goals as they gave West Ham United a New Years’ Day mauling in 2007. The season ended with Nicky becoming the first Reading player to represent the England national team in almost 100 years when he played in the 1-1 draw with Brazil. It was also the first match to be played at the new Wembley Stadium.

He was consistent again in 2007-2008, scoring twice but couldn’t prevent the club from being relegated. Relations between club and player became more strained when a proposed move to West Ham United collapsed during the season. The full-back decided after relegation his future lay away from Berkshire and his departure left a bitter taste in the mouths of many supporters. He joined Aston Villa in the summer of 2008.

His time at Villa was a real struggle, unable to hold down a regular place in the side. Although he started the first four matches of the 2009-2010 campaign, he was made surplus to requirements by Martin O’Neill and turned down a loan move to financially-ruined Portsmouth on transfer deadline day in September 2009. Loan spells followed at Nottingham Forest and Fulham during that campaign. He made 12 appearances for the Cottagers’ but was cup-tied during their historic run to the UEFA Europa League final. Shorey impressed Roy Hodgson but when he left Fulham for the Liverpool FC job, the club decided not to take an option up on his loan contract for a permanent switch.

He went back to the Midlands but joined newly-promoted West Bromwich Albion for £1.3 million in August 2010. He made 57 Premier League appearances across two seasons and had another spell working alongside Hodgson when his Liverpool experience turned sour. The arrival of Liam Ridgewell in the 2012 winter transfer window pushed Shorey out of his regular left-back role at The Hawthorns and he was released at the end of that campaign.

He rejoined Reading in the summer of 2012 on a free transfer, four years after his initial departure in fairly acrimonious circumstances. He made 21 appearances but couldn’t stop Reading’s immediate return to the Championship. He was released following their relegation and experienced spells afterwards with Bristol City, Portsmouth, Colchester United and Pune City in the Indian Super League. He retired in October 2016 to take up a coaching role under the guidance of 34-year-old Darren Sarll who is the current manager of Stevenage.

Fate drew the two sides Nicky is commonly associated with together in the third round of the 2018 Emirates FA Cup. Stevenage and Reading played out a goalless draw and will need to replay to see who progresses to the fourth round.

He might have moved elsewhere, both in his playing and current coaching guise but Nicky Shorey will always be a Royal.

Shock Results: Aston Villa 3-1 Manchester United (August 1995)

Goalscorers: Ian Taylor 14, Mark Draper 27, Dwight Yorke 36 PEN, David Beckham 82

Teams:

Aston Villa: Mark Bosnich, Alan Wright, Gareth Southgate, Ugo Ehiogu, Paul McGrath, Gary Charles, Ian Taylor, Andy Townsend, Mark Draper, Dwight Yorke (Riccardo Scimeca 86), Savo Milosevic (Tommy Johnson 50)

Manchester United: Peter Schmeichel, Paul Parker, Denis Irwin, Gary Pallister (John O’Kane 59), Gary Neville, Phil Neville (David Beckham 45), Roy Keane, Nicky Butt, Lee Sharpe, Paul Scholes, Brian McClair

Referee: Robbie Hart, Attendance: 34,655

Manchester United felt like a wounded club in the summer of 1995. Having won the double in 1994, they ended up empty-handed one season later.

Alex Ferguson’s response was to sell star players Paul Ince, Andrei Kanchelskis and Mark Hughes. Ince moved to a new culture of football of Serie A with Inter Milan, Kanchelskis switched to Everton and Hughes moved to Chelsea. With injuries keeping out Steve Bruce, Andy Cole and Ryan Giggs, plus Eric Cantona’s lengthy suspension, it was a much-changed Red Devils line-up that travelled to Villa Park on the opening weekend of the 1995-1996 campaign. Aston Villa had undergone a huge squad overhaul themselves. The likes of Ray Houghton, Dean Saunders, Dalian Atkinson and Kevin Richardson were discarded and in came Gareth Southgate, Mark Draper and from Yugoslavia, Savo Milosevic. Villa produced a quality display on a sun-drenched afternoon in Birmingham.

Brian Little opted for a three-man defence, comprising of Southgate, Ugo Ehiogu and Paul McGrath. This allowed the more attack-minded Gary Charles to push forward and his tactics worked, especially as Charles played a significant part in the opening goal on 14 minutes. His dangerous cross into the penalty area was turned in by Ian Taylor. Taylor was in his first full season at the club after moving from Sheffield Wednesday in December 1994. He was already a hero of the Holte End.

It was a speedy counter-attack that led to Villa’s second. The new strike partnership of Dwight Yorke and Milosevic combined to tee-up Draper on 26 minutes for a debut goal. United were struggling without many of their regulars and a third goal came nine minutes before the interval. Goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel fouled Milosevic in the penalty area. Yorke routinely converted the spot-kick to make the scoreline 3-0. It was already a result that would raise plenty of eyebrows.

Ferguson probably peeled the paint off the visitors’ dressing room walls at half-time. He made a number of tactical changes, including reverting to a traditional 4-4-2 formation. He brought on David Beckham at half-time and his long-range strike with eight minutes left at least ensured some reward for a better second half display. However, the damage had been inflicted long before Beckham’s very first Premier League goal.

Ferguson defended his team in the media but the written press had a field day and BBC Match of the Day pundit Alan Hansen famously said a few hours after the result: “He has to buy players. You can’t win anything with kids!”

Manchester United would end the season with their second league and cup double in three seasons.

Iconic Moments: Derby nightmare for Enckelman (September 2002)

In September 2002, Birmingham City and Aston Villa faced each other for the first time in the Premier League era. There was plenty at stake and it was more than just three points too. Birmingham led 1-0 through a Clinton Morrison strike but there was all to play for with just 15 minutes remaining. Then, step forward one of the most bizarre goals in Premier League history.

Villa defender Olof Mellberg takes a throw-in and throws the ball back to his goalkeeper, Peter Enckelman. The Finnish goalie makes a complete meal of a simple opportunity to trap the ball and start a fresh attack. The ball rolls underneath his foot and trickles all the way into the back of the net. Enckelman puts his hands on his head as Birmingham supporters rejoice in their delight.

Geoff Horsfield later adds a third goal and Birmingham go onto win four of their first six Premier League encounters with their rivals in the Second City. Enckelman now works as a field sales executive for DHL. Earlier this year, he was asked whether he knew he’d touched the ball on its way into the net. He said: “The actual truth is I’m not 100 percent sure. I’m 90 percent sure I didn’t touch the ball, but I couldn’t swear I did.”

It gave us a derby moment in Premier League history that is rarely forgotten.

Shock Results: Aston Villa 0-1 Oldham Athletic (May 1993)

Goalscorers: Nick Henry 29

Teams:

Aston Villa: Mark Bosnich, Paul McGrath, Steve Staunton, Shaun Teale, Earl Barrett, Kevin Richardson, Garry Parker (Tony Daley 61), Ray Houghton, Dwight Yorke, Dalian Atkinson, Dean Saunders

Oldham Athletic: Paul Gerrard, Steve Redmond, Craig Fleming, Richard Jobson, Gunnar Halle, Neil Pointon, Mike Milligan, Paul Bernard, Nick Henry, Ian Olney, Darren Beckford

Referee: David Allison, Attendance: 37,247

Aston Villa went into their penultimate match of the 1992-1993 season still harbouring hopes of winning the inaugural Premier League title. However, they had to beat struggling Oldham Athletic to stand any hope of catching Manchester United. Any other result and the championship would return to Old Trafford after a 26-year absence.

They were facing an Oldham side that looked dead and buried in the battle to survive. They required three wins from their last three matches to even have a hope of catching Crystal Palace or Sheffield United. The mathematics looked against Joe Royle’s side. However, no game of football has ever been written on just a piece of paper.

It was a sunny but gusty afternoon in the Midlands and it was the visitors’ who made the brighter start. Young goalkeeper Mark Bosnich, preferred to the veteran Nigel Spink was forced to make a great save after 14 minutes when facing Oldham’s Ian Olney in a one-on-one situation. The chance came from his scuffed goal-kick but he did well to make amends. Royle’s side were showing no fear despite their precarious situation in the table and deservedly took the lead in the 29th minute.

A long-ball was played up the park. Full-back Gunnar Halle had pushed forward and managed to beat Steve Staunton in the air. As Villa’s centre-backs went AWOL, Darren Beckford raced onto the knockdown. His control wasn’t great but fortunately for him and Latics’ supporters, Nick Henry had tracked the ball and scored across Bosnich’s bows to stun Villa Park.

It woke Villa up from their slumbers. Dean Saunders was desperately unlucky with a free-kick three minutes later that smashed the crossbar with Oldham goalie Paul Gerrard completely stranded. Seconds later, the former Liverpool FC forward had a volley cleared off-the-line from a corner.

As the game progressed though, Oldham started to look more comfortable. Heroic displays from the likes of Richard Jobson and Craig Fleming helped them towards a rare clean sheet. Villa’s usual creative spark was evidently missing. Ron Atkinson admitted afterwards that he had toyed with the idea of throwing some of the youngsters into the spotlight before electing to stick with the trusted combination that had got them so close, yet so far.

On the final whistle, it was Manchester United fans celebrating. Their Greater Manchester rivals had just ended their title drought and the party could begin at Old Trafford. For the record, Oldham won their final two matches and survived on the final day at the expense of Crystal Palace.

The Managers: Alex McLeish

Premier League Clubs Managed: Birmingham City (2007-2008), (2009-2011), Aston Villa (2011-2012)

The Midlands and especially, the city of Birmingham dominated the management career of Alex McLeish in the Premier League. The Scot was a huge success in Scottish football but his English spell wasn’t so rewarding. Despite winning the League Cup in 2011 with Birmingham City, two relegations and an uneasy season at Villa Park in 2011-2012 meant it was an unfulfilling experience in the top-flight for McLeish.

Early Scottish success

As a player, McLeish was a central defender for Aberdeen during their own monopoly of Scottish football in the 1980s. He scored in the 1983 European Cup Winners’ Cup final over the mighty Real Madrid and made 493 appearances for Aberdeen across 16 seasons. His performances saw him voted Scottish Player of the Year in 1990 and it led to international recognition from Scotland on no fewer than 77 occasions.

McLeish’s first management role came at Motherwell where he made the final appearances of his playing time. Under his guidance, the Lanarkshire club finished second to Rangers in 1995 but he was unable to build on this and in the next two campaigns, relegation battles followed. He left Motherwell in 1998 to take over at Hibernian.

McLeish arrived too late to stop the Edinburgh side sliding out of the top-flight but he guided them straight back into the Premiership and soon consolidated Hibs into a comfortable, attractive side to watch. He even managed to tempt the likes of former French international Franck Sauzee to Easter Road. Hibernian finished best of the rest in 2001 behind the Glasgow dominant Celtic and Rangers combination. The latter had noted his good work and at Christmas time in 2001, he was chosen by Dick Advocaat as his future successor.

Stopping the Celtic steamroller

Any doubts about McLeish’s appointment by Rangers supporters were instantly quelled. Although the title was always going to go to Martin O’Neill and Celtic long before his arrival in 2001-2002, McLeish did preside over a domestic cup double against the old enemy. The likes of Barry Ferguson, Peter Lovenkrands and Ronald de Boer made swift contributions as Rangers swept the board in 2002-2003. McLeish was keeping the winning tradition going at Ibrox. How they wish they had these days back nowadays…

Another title followed in 2005 and also under his guidance, Rangers reached the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League, becoming the first Scottish side to get through the group stage since the competition’s reformation in 1992. However, Celtic had bounced back and regained the grip on Scottish football. With fan pressure growing, McLeish stood down in the summer of 2006.

After a brief hiatus from the game, he took over as manager of his country in January 2007. Under his reign as Scotland manager, the Scots stunned France in Paris to beat them in qualifying for the 2008 European Championships. Sadly though, a defeat in Georgia ended any realistic hopes of a first major tournament finals’ appearance in 10 years. A loss to Italy in the final round of games ensured Scotland’s brave failure was complete.

Days after the Italian defeat, he resigned and took over the vacancy at Birmingham City which was left open after Steve Bruce went to Wigan Athletic. His chapter in English football was about to begin.

Highs and lows with Birmingham

McLeish’s debut match as Birmingham manager was a memorable one. Sebastian Larsson’s stunning strike helped the Blues’ to a 3-2 away win at White Hart Lane against Tottenham Hotspur. They briefly climbed to 11th in early March but a poor run of results towards the end of the season ended with the team’s relegation to the Championship, despite beating Blackburn Rovers 4-1 on the final day of the season.

Things did improve. An immediate promotion back to the top-flight followed and then, he produced a sound 2009-2010 campaign which saw Birmingham finish an impressive ninth; their highest finish in over half a century. Among the achievements was a club-record 12-match unbeaten run in the top-flight and the Manager of the Month award for December 2009.

In 2010-2011, expectations were therefore fairly high and there was a victory over champions Chelsea, plus creditable home draws with Liverpool FC and Manchester United. In February 2011, Birmingham stunned favourites Arsenal at Wembley Stadium to win the Carling Cup 2-1. However, a nightmarish run followed in the Premier League. Just two wins in their last 11 matches saw the club relegated for the third time in just over five years. Birmingham’s plight was confirmed by a 2-1 defeat on the final day to Tottenham Hotspur.

The board wanted to keep McLeish in charge but in June 2011, he controversially resigned from his position via e-mail. Five days later, he liked the Midlands so much; he stayed in the region and became Aston Villa boss. Protests were held outside Villa Park on his appointment. He was not the fans’ popular choice. McLeish signed Shay Given and Charles N’Zogbia on his arrival. Neither signing would ultimately work out well. Villa did remain unbeaten until mid-October but there was never any comfort in the role, or a great brand of football being played by his team.

Chelsea were beaten 3-1 at Stamford Bridge on New Years’ Eve but just four wins were achieved all term at home and relegation was avoided by a mere two points. His contract was terminated by Randy Lerner after defeat at Norwich City on the final day consigned Villa to a lowly 16th-place finish.

Since then, Alex McLeish had the briefest of spells at Nottingham Forest (7 games) following by stints working in Belgium and Egypt. Alex McLeish has experienced the highs and lows in football management. His teams weren’t the prettiest to watch but they were very successful in his homeland. It didn’t quite work out though in England.

Premier League Files: Steve Stone

Premier League Career: Nottingham Forest (1992-1993), (1994-1997), (1998-1999), Aston Villa (1999-2002), Portsmouth (2003-2005)

Injuries were part of Steve Stone’s football career but when he managed to stay clear of fitness battles, he proved to everyone what a decent footballer he was. His best spell came in the 1995-1996 season with Nottingham Forest.

Stone scored a series of excellent goals during this campaign including a winner at White Hart Lane against Tottenham Hotspur and a stunning equaliser at home to Aston Villa.

His performances with his club were recognised by Terry Venables who handed the midfielder his international bow in October 1995 in a goalless draw with Norway in Oslo. A month later, Stone came off the bench to score in a 3-1 friendly win over Switzerland and also found the back of the net at Wembley in a draw against Portugal. He made nine appearances for the Three Lions’ and was part of the Euro 96 squad that reached the semi-finals on home soil.

Unfortunately, he couldn’t force his way into Glenn Hoddle’s plans on an international scale and that was down to injury. During his career at Forest, he suffered three broken legs including one in pre-season of 1996 which meant he missed the club’s entire 1996-1997 season as they were relegated to Division One.

Stone recovered and although he missed an absolute sitter in an away match against Reading in the First Division, he played an integral role in Dave Bassett’s team that returned to the Premier League at the first attempt. Sadly, relegation swiftly followed the following season and after making 229 appearances for the club, Stone was sold for £5.5 million to Aston Villa in the summer of 1999.

He became a vital player for John Gregory and figured frequently during his tenure including an appearance in the 2000 FA Cup Final; the last cup final to be played underneath the famed Twin Towers. When Gregory departed in January 2002, Stone fell out of favour with Graham Taylor and was transferred to Portsmouth.

He returned to the Premier League under Harry Redknapp’s stewardship in 2003 and even scored a winning goal against Manchester United in April 2004 that helped Pompey achieve survival in their maiden Premier League season. Stone was released in 2005 by Alain Perrin and he finished his career at Leeds United, retiring in December 2006 after further injury issues.

Stone moved into coaching and worked with the reserves and first-team at Newcastle United from 2010-2015. He was let go by the club after their near-miss with relegation in 2014-2015 and now spends the majority of his time between England and Dubai.

Seasonal Records: 1995-1996

For all the statistical fans out there, here are some of the season’s records from the 1995-1996 Premier League season which was the first where just 20 clubs took part.

FINAL TABLE

Position Team P W D L F A GD PTS
1 Manchester United 38 25 7 6 73 35 +38 82
2 Newcastle United 38 24 6 8 66 37 +29 78
3 Liverpool FC 38 20 11 7 70 34 +36 71
4 Aston Villa 38 18 9 11 52 35 +17 63
5 Arsenal 38 17 12 9 49 32 +17 63
6 Everton 38 17 10 11 64 44 +20 61
7 Blackburn Rovers 38 18 7 13 61 47 +14 61
8 Tottenham Hotspur 38 16 13 9 50 38 +12 61
9 Nottingham Forest 38 15 13 10 50 54 -4 58
10 West Ham United 38 14 9 15 43 52 -9 51
11 Chelsea 38 12 14 12 46 44 +2 50
12 Middlesbrough 38 11 10 17 35 50 -15 43
13 Leeds United 38 12 7 19 40 57 -17 43
14 Wimbledon 38 10 11 17 55 70 -15 41
15 Sheffield Wednesday 38 10 10 18 48 61 -13 40
16 Coventry City 38 8 14 16 42 60 -18 38
17 Southampton 38 9 11 18 34 52 -18 38
18 Manchester City 38 9 11 18 33 58 -25 38
19 Queens Park Rangers 38 9 6 23 38 57 -19 33
20 Bolton Wanderers 38 8 5 25 39 71 -32 29

THE BASIC STATS

Goals Scored 988
European qualifiers Manchester United (UEFA Champions League), Newcastle United (UEFA Cup), Aston Villa (UEFA Cup), Arsenal (UEFA Cup), Liverpool FC (UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup)
Longest winning run 6 games (Manchester United)
Longest unbeaten run 15 games (Liverpool FC)
Longest winless run 14 games (Coventry City & Wimbledon)
Longest losing run 8 games (Manchester City & Middlesbrough)
Highest attendance 53,926 (Manchester United vs. Nottingham Forest)
Lowest attendance 6,352 (Wimbledon vs. Sheffield Wednesday)

AWARDS

PFA Players’ Player of the Year Les Ferdinand (Newcastle United)
PFA Young Player of the Year Robbie Fowler (Liverpool FC)
Football Writers’ Award Eric Cantona (Manchester United)
PFA Team of the Year David James, Alan Wright, Tony Adams, Ugo Ehiogu, Gary Neville, Ruud Gullit, Steve Stone, Rob Lee, David Ginola, Alan Shearer, Les Ferdinand
Manager of the Year Alex Ferguson (Manchester United)
Goal of the Season Tony Yeboah (Wimbledon vs. LEEDS UNITED)

HAT-TRICK HEROES

Player Teams Score Date
Matt Le Tissier Southampton vs. Nottingham Forest 3-4 19th August 1995
Robbie Fowler (4) Liverpool FC vs. Bolton Wanderers 5-2 23rd September 1995
Alan Shearer Blackburn Rovers vs. Coventry City 5-1 23rd September 1995
Tony Yeboah Wimbledon vs. Leeds United 2-4 23rd September 1995
Les Ferdinand Newcastle United vs. Wimbledon 6-1 21st October 1995
Gary McAllister Leeds United vs. Coventry City 3-1 28th October 1995
Alan Shearer Blackburn Rovers vs. Nottingham Forest 7-0 18th November 1995
Alan Shearer Blackburn Rovers vs. West Ham United 4-2 2nd December 1995
Dion Dublin Sheffield Wednesday vs. Coventry City 4-3 4th December 1995
Savo Milosevic Aston Villa vs. Coventry City 4-1 16th December 1995
Robbie Fowler Liverpool FC vs. Arsenal 3-1 23rd December 1995
Alan Shearer Blackburn Rovers vs. Bolton Wanderers 3-1 3rd February 1996
Gavin Peacock Chelsea vs. Middlesbrough 5-0 4th February 1996
Alan Shearer Tottenham Hotspur vs. Blackburn Rovers 2-3 16th March 1996
Mark Hughes Chelsea vs. Leeds United 4-1 13th April 1996
Andrei Kanchelskis Sheffield Wednesday vs. Everton 2-5 27th April 1996

TOP SCORERS

Position Player Teams No of Goals
1 Alan Shearer Blackburn Rovers 31
2 Robbie Fowler Liverpool FC 28
3 Les Ferdinand Newcastle United 25
4 Dwight Yorke Aston Villa 17
5= Andrei Kanchelskis Everton 16
5= Teddy Sheringham Tottenham Hotspur 16
7= Ian Wright Arsenal 15
7= Chris Armstrong Tottenham Hotspur 15
9= Eric Cantona Manchester United 14
9= Stan Collymore Liverpool FC 14
9= Dion Dublin Coventry City 14
12 John Spencer Chelsea 13
13= Savo Milosevic Aston Villa 12
13= Tony Yeboah Leeds United 12
13= David Hirst Sheffield Wednesday 12
16= Andy Cole Manchester United 11
16= Dennis Bergkamp Arsenal 11
16= Robbie Earle Wimbledon 11
16= Ryan Giggs Manchester United 11
20= Tony Cottee West Ham United 10
20= Paul Scholes Manchester United 10
20= Dean Holdsworth Wimbledon 10
20= Danny Dichio Queens Park Rangers 10
20= Julian Dicks West Ham United 10
25 Graham Stuart Everton 9

BIGGEST VICTORIES

Blackburn Rovers 7-0 Nottingham Forest 18th November 1995
Bolton Wanderers 0-6 Manchester United 25th February 1996
Liverpool FC 6-0 Manchester City 28th October 1995
Newcastle United 6-1 Wimbledon 21st October 1995
Manchester United 5-0 Nottingham Forest 28th April 1996
Liverpool FC 5-0 Leeds United 20th January 1996
Chelsea 5-0 Middlesbrough 5th February 1996
Coventry City 5-0 Blackburn Rovers 9th December 1995
Sheffield Wednesday 6-2 Leeds United 16th December 1995
Blackburn Rovers 5-1 Coventry City 23rd September 1995

HIGHEST SCORING GAMES

No of Goals Teams Date
8 Sheffield Wednesday 6-2 Leeds United 16th December 1995
7 Blackburn Rovers 7-0 Nottingham Forest 18th November 1995
7 Newcastle United 6-1 Wimbledon 21st October 1995
7 Liverpool FC 5-2 Bolton Wanderers 23rd September 1995
7 Sheffield Wednesday 2-5 Everton 27th April 1996
7 Liverpool FC 4-3 Newcastle United 3rd April 1996
7 Southampton 3-4 Nottingham Forest 19th August 1995
7 Sheffield Wednesday 4-3 Coventry City 4th December 1995
6 Bolton Wanderers 0-6 Manchester United 25th February 1996
6 Liverpool FC 6-0 Manchester City 28th October 1995
6 Blackburn Rovers 5-1 Coventry City 23rd September 1995
6 Nottingham Forest 1-5 Blackburn Rovers 13th April 1996
6 Arsenal 4-2 Sheffield Wednesday 21st November 1995
6 Wimbledon 2-4 Manchester United 3rd February 1996
6 Liverpool FC 4-2 Nottingham Forest 1st January 1996
6 Aston Villa 4-2 Queens Park Rangers 9th March 1996
6 Arsenal 4-2 Southampton 23rd September 1995
6 Blackburn Rovers 4-2 West Ham United 2nd December 1995
6 West Ham United 4-2 Manchester City 23rd March 1996
6 Middlesbrough 4-2 West Ham United 23rd December 1995

YOUNGEST PLAYERS USED

Player Teams Age at the time Date
Mark Platts Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 Wimbledon 16 years, 8 months, 18 days 10th February 1996
Andy Campbell Middlesbrough 3-1 Sheffield Wednesday 16 years, 11 months, 18 days 5th April 1996
Neil Finn Manchester City 2-1 West Ham United 17 years, 3 days 1st January 1996
Jody Morris Chelsea 5-0 Middlesbrough 17 years, 1 month, 14 days 5th February 1996
Michael Branch Manchester United 2-0 Everton 17 years, 4 months, 3 days 21st February 1996
Nigel Quashie Manchester United 2-1 Queens Park Rangers 17 years, 5 months, 10 days 30th December 1995
Alan Maybury Aston Villa 3-0 Leeds United 17 years, 5 months, 26 days 3rd February 1996
Rio Ferdinand West Ham United 1-1 Sheffield Wednesday 17 years, 5 months, 28 days 5th May 1996
Harry Kewell Leeds United 0-1 Middlesbrough 17 years, 6 months, 8 days 30th March 1996
Frank Lampard West Ham United 3-2 Coventry City 17 years, 7 months, 11 days 31st January 1996

OLDEST PLAYERS USED

Player Teams Age at the time Date
Ray Wilkins Nottingham Forest 3-0 Queens Park Rangers 39 years, 7 months, 21 days 5th May 1996
Gordon Strachan Nottingham Forest 0-0 Coventry City 39 years, 2 months, 8 days 17th April 1996
Bryan Robson Middlesbrough 4-2 West Ham United 38 years, 11 months, 12 days 23rd December 1995
Steve Ogrizovic Coventry City 0-0 Leeds United 38 years, 7 months, 23 days 5th May 1996
Bruce Grobbelaar Aston Villa 3-0 Southampton 38 years, 5 months, 23 days 8th April 1996
Les Sealey Newcastle United 3-0 West Ham United 38 years, 5 months, 18 days 18th March 1996
Alvin Martin West Ham United 1-1 Sheffield Wednesday 37 years, 9 months, 6 days 5th May 1996
Neville Southall Everton 1-0 Aston Villa 37 years, 7 months, 19 days 5th May 1996
Nigel Spink Queens Park Rangers 1-0 Aston Villa 37 years, 4 months, 15 days 23rd December 1995
Mick Harford Southampton 0-0 Wimbledon 37 years, 2 months, 23 days 5th May 1996

CLEAN SHEETS

Position Player Teams No of Clean Sheets
1 Peter Schmeichel Manchester United 18
2= David James Liverpool FC 16
2= David Seaman Arsenal 16
4= Mark Bosnich Aston Villa 15
4= Neville Southall Everton 15
6= Ian Walker Tottenham Hotspur 11
6= Ludek Miklosko West Ham United 11
8= Tim Flowers Blackburn Rovers 10
8= Dmitri Kharine Chelsea 10
8= Dave Beasant Southampton 10

Memorable Matches: Birmingham City 3-0 Aston Villa (September 2002)

Goalscorers: Clinton Morrison 31, Peter Enckelman OG 77, Geoff Horsfield 83

Teams:

Birmingham City: Nico Vaesen, Martin Grainger, Darren Purse, Kenny Cunningham, Jeff Kenna, Paul Devlin (Darryl Powell 79), Damien Johnson, Aliou Cisse, Robbie Savage (Bryan Hughes 87), Clinton Morrison (Geoff Horsfield 69), Stern John

Aston Villa: Peter Enckelman, Ulisses de la Cruz, Alpay, Olof Mellberg, Steve Staunton, Ronny Johnsen, Gareth Barry, Mark Kinsella, Jlloyd Samuel, Juan Pablo Angel (Darius Vassell 45), Marcus Allback (Dion Dublin 45)

Referee: David Elleray, Attendance: 29,502

This was the first meeting in the Premier League between these Midlands rivals and the first Second City Derby in the top-flight since 1986. It would turn out to be an evening that Birmingham City fans will remember forever and one that Peter Enckelman has never forgotten…for all the wrong reasons.

Birmingham had adjusted well to life in the big time. Managed by former title winner Steve Bruce, the Blues had already beaten Leeds United and came from 2-0 to grab a point at Anfield against Liverpool FC five days earlier. Graham Taylor was in the Villa dugout for his second stint in charge but his team weren’t exactly sparkling despite a home victory over Charlton Athletic last time out.

The home side were on the front foot from the opening exchanges and deservedly took the lead in the first half. Paul Devlin played a ball into the box which deflected off Robbie Savage into the path of Clinton Morrison. The Villa defenders stood waiting for an officials’ flag that never came and the forward made no mistake from seven yards out in dispatching the ball past Enckelman. That was his third goal in two matches.

There was a reaction from the visitors. Ulisses de la Cruz smashed the crossbar and half-time substitute Darius Vassell had a goal chalked off for offside after Martin Grainger and Kenny Cunningham got in each other’s way. The game was still perfectly in the balance as the last 10 minutes approached, before one of the craziest goals we’ve ever seen in the Premier League.

Olof Mellberg took a throw-in and played it back to his goalkeeper. Enckelman took his eye off the ball for a split second, miscontrolled it and the ball trickled into the back of his net. The Finn looked rather sheepish and did well not to react to provocation from some excited supporters that ran onto the pitch to celebrate the goal. Bruce’s reaction on the touchline summed it up. There was a debate on whether the goalkeeper actually touched the ball but judging from Enckelman’s reaction, he clearly did.

Moments later, another calamitous mistake by a Villa defender, this time from Alpay allowed substitute Geoff Horsfield in to score a third goal and power Birmingham to a priceless and magnificent victory. They finished 13th in their debut season and became a stable Premier League side for the next four campaigns. Crucially, they won both matches that season against Aston Villa and finished three places higher in the table too.

Seasonal Records: 1993-1994

For all the statistical fans out there, here are some of the season’s records from the second season of top-flight – the 1993-1994 FA Carling Premiership.

FINAL TABLE

Position Team P W D L F A GD PTS
1 Manchester United 42 27 11 4 80 38 +42 92
2 Blackburn Rovers 42 25 9 8 63 36 +27 84
3 Newcastle United 42 23 8 11 82 41 +41 77
4 Arsenal 42 18 17 7 53 28 +25 71
5 Leeds United 42 18 16 8 65 39 +26 70
6 Wimbledon 42 18 11 13 56 53 +3 65
7 Sheffield Wednesday 42 16 16 10 76 54 +22 64
8 Liverpool FC 42 17 9 16 59 55 +4 60
9 Queens Park Rangers 42 16 12 14 62 61 +1 60
10 Aston Villa 42 15 12 15 46 50 -4 57
11 Coventry City 42 14 14 14 43 45 -2 56
12 Norwich City 42 12 17 13 65 61 +4 53
13 West Ham United 42 13 13 16 47 58 -11 52
14 Chelsea 42 13 12 17 49 53 -4 51
15 Tottenham Hotspur 42 11 12 19 54 59 -5 45
16 Manchester City 42 9 18 15 38 49 -11 45
17 Everton 42 12 8 22 42 63 -21 44
18 Southampton 42 12 7 23 49 66 -17 43
19 Ipswich Town 42 9 16 17 35 58 -23 43
20 Sheffield United 42 8 18 16 42 60 -18 42
21 Oldham Athletic 42 9 13 20 42 68 -26 40
22 Swindon Town 42 5 15 22 47 100 -53 30

THE BASIC STATS

Goals Scored 1,195
European qualifiers Manchester United (UEFA Champions League), Aston Villa (UEFA Cup), Blackburn Rovers (UEFA Cup), Newcastle United (UEFA Cup), Arsenal (UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup), Chelsea (UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup)
Longest winning run 8 games (Manchester United)
Longest unbeaten run 22 games (Manchester United)
Longest winless run 15 games (Swindon Town)
Longest losing run 7 games (Tottenham Hotspur)
Highest attendance 45,347 (Aston Villa vs. Liverpool FC)
Lowest attendance 4,739 (Wimbledon vs. Coventry City)

AWARDS

PFA Players’ Player of the Year Eric Cantona (Manchester United)
PFA Young Player of the Year Andy Cole (Newcastle United)
Football Writers’ Award Alan Shearer (Blackburn Rovers)
PFA Team of the Year Tim Flowers, Gary Kelly, Denis Irwin, Tony Adams, Gary Pallister, David Batty, Gary McAllister, Paul Ince, Peter Beardsley, Eric Cantona, Alan Shearer
Manager of the Year Alex Ferguson (Manchester United)
LMA Manager of the Year Joe Kinnear (Wimbledon)
Goal of the Season Rod Wallace (LEEDS UNITED vs. Tottenham Hotspur)

HAT-TRICK HEROES

Player Teams Score Date
Mick Quinn Arsenal vs. Coventry City 0-3 14th August 1993
Tony Cottee Everton vs. Sheffield United 4-2 21st August 1993
Kevin Campbell Arsenal vs. Ipswich Town 4-0 11th September 1993
Efan Ekoku (4 goals) Everton vs. Norwich City 1-5 25th September 1993
Alan Shearer Leeds United vs. Blackburn Rovers 3-3 23rd October 1993
Robbie Fowler Liverpool FC vs. Southampton 4-2 30th October 1993
Peter Beardsley Newcastle United vs. Wimbledon 4-0 30th October 1993
Bradley Allen Everton vs. Queens Park Rangers 0-3 20th November 1993
Andy Cole Newcastle United vs. Liverpool FC 3-0 21st November 1993
Kevin Campbell Swindon Town vs. Arsenal 0-4 27th December 1993
Tony Cottee Everton vs. Swindon Town 6-2 15th January 1994
Jan-Aage Fjortoft Swindon Town vs. Coventry City 3-1 5th February 1994
Dean Saunders Aston Villa vs. Swindon Town 5-0 12th February 1994
Matt Le Tissier Southampton vs. Liverpool FC 4-2 14th February 1994
Andy Cole Newcastle United vs. Coventry City 4-0 23rd February 1994
Ian Wright Ipswich Town vs. Arsenal 1-5 5th March 1994
Ian Wright Southampton vs. Arsenal 0-4 19th March 1994
Matt Le Tissier Norwich City vs. Southampton 4-5 9th April 1994
Dean Holdsworth Wimbledon vs. Oldham Athletic 3-0 26th April 1994

TOP SCORERS

Position Player Teams No of Goals
1 Andy Cole Newcastle United 34
2 Alan Shearer Blackburn Rovers 31
3= Chris Sutton Norwich City 25
3= Matt Le Tissier Southampton 25
5 Ian Wright Arsenal 23
6 Peter Beardsley Newcastle United 21
7 Mark Bright Sheffield Wednesday 19
8 Eric Cantona Manchester United 18
9= Rod Wallace Leeds United 17
9= Dean Holdsworth Wimbledon 17
11 Les Ferdinand Queens Park Rangers 16
11= Tony Cottee Everton 16
13 Kevin Campbell Arsenal 14
13= Ian Rush Liverpool FC 14
13= Teddy Sheringham Tottenham Hotspur 14
16 Ryan Giggs Manchester United 13
16= Trevor Morley West Ham United 13
16= Mark Stein Chelsea 13
17= Mark Hughes Manchester United 12
17= Gordon Watson Sheffield Wednesday 12
17= Robbie Fowler Liverpool FC 12
17= Efan Ekoku Norwich City 12
17= Jan-Aage Fjortoft Swindon Town 12
24= Brian Deane Leeds United 11
24= John Fashanu Wimbledon 11

BIGGEST VICTORIES

Newcastle United 7-1 Swindon Town 12th March 1994
Manchester United 5-0 Sheffield Wednesday 16th March 1994
Swindon Town 0-5 Leeds United 7th May 1994
Sheffield Wednesday 5-0 West Ham United 18th December 1993
Sheffield Wednesday 5-0 Ipswich Town 23rd April 1994
Swindon Town 0-5 Liverpool FC 22nd August 1993
Aston Villa 5-0 Swindon Town 12th February 1994
Tottenham Hotspur 5-0 Oldham Athletic 18th September 1993
Everton 6-2 Swindon Town 15th January 1994
Newcastle United 5-1 Aston Villa 27th April 1994

HIGHEST SCORING GAMES

No of Goals Teams Date
9 Norwich City 4-5 Southampton 9th April 1994
8 Newcastle United 7-1 Swindon Town 12th March 1994
8 Everton 6-2 Swindon Town 15th January 1994
7 Oldham Athletic 2-5 Manchester United 29th December 1993
7 Norwich City 3-4 Queens Park Rangers 12th March 1994
7 Chelsea 4-3 Tottenham Hotspur 27th February 1994
6 Wimbledon 4-2 Newcastle United 12th February 1994
6 Newcastle United 5-1 Aston Villa 27th April 1994
6 Queens Park Rangers 5-1 Coventry City 23rd October 1993
6 Chelsea 4-2 Everton 3rd January 1994
6 Southampton 4-2 Liverpool FC 14th February 1994
6 Ipswich Town 1-5 Arsenal 5th March 1994
6 Everton 1-5 Norwich City 25th September 1993
6 Tottenham Hotspur 3-3 Liverpool FC 18th December 1993
6 Sheffield Wednesday 3-3 Swindon Town 29th December 1993
6 Liverpool FC 4-2 Southampton 30th October 1993
6 Liverpool FC 3-3 Manchester United 4th January 1994
6 Leeds United 3-3 Blackburn Rovers 23rd October 1993
6 Everton 4-2 Chelsea 5th February 1994
6 Sheffield Wednesday 3-3 Norwich City 1st September 1993

YOUNGEST PLAYERS USED

Player Teams Age at the time Date
David Beresford Sheffield Wednesday 3-0 Oldham Athletic 17 years, 13 days 24th November 1993
Stephen Carr Ipswich Town 2-2 Tottenham Hotspur 17 years, 28 days 26th September 1993
Willie Boland Coventry City 1-1 West Ham United 18 years, 15 days 21st August 1993
Darren Eadie Queens Park Rangers 2-2 Norwich City 18 years, 3 months, 8 days 18th September 1993
Lee Briscoe Tottenham Hotspur 1-3 Sheffield Wednesday 18 years, 4 months, 6 days 5th February 1994
Neal Bartlett Queens Park Rangers 2-1 Southampton 18 years, 4 months, 14 days 21st August 1993
Andy Turner Newcastle United 0-1 Tottenham Hotspur 18 years, 4 months, 22 days 14th August 1993
Robbie Fowler Chelsea 1-0 Liverpool FC 18 years, 5 months, 16 days 25th September 1993
Chris Holland Newcastle United 2-0 Ipswich Town 18 years, 6 months, 11 days 22nd March 1994
Michael Duberry Chelsea 1-2 Coventry City 18 years, 6 months, 20 days 4th May 1994

OLDEST PLAYERS USED

Player Teams Age at the time Date
Trevor Francis Sheffield Wednesday 0-0 Coventry City 39 years, 7 months, 1 day 20th November 1993
Kevin Moran Blackburn Rovers 0-0 Ipswich Town 38 years, 8 days 7th May 1994
Ray Wilkins Tottenham Hotspur 1-2 Queens Park Rangers 37 years, 7 months, 23 days 7th May 1994
Peter Reid Southampton 3-1 Chelsea 37 years, 6 months, 7 days 27th December 1993
Bryan Robson Manchester United 0-0 Coventry City 37 years, 3 months, 27 days 8th May 1994
Gordon Strachan Swindon Town 0-5 Leeds United 37 years, 2 months, 28 days 7th May 1994
John Wark Blackburn Rovers 0-0 Ipswich Town 36 years, 9 months, 3 days 7th May 1994
Steve Ogrizovic Manchester United 0-0 Coventry City 36 years, 7 months, 26 days 8th May 1994
Mal Donaghy Chelsea 1-2 Coventry City 36 years, 7 months, 21 days 4th May 1994
Glenn Hoddle Chelsea 3-2 Sheffield United 36 years, 6 months, 10 days 7th May 1994

CLEAN SHEETS

Position Player Teams No of Clean Sheets
1 David Seaman Arsenal 20
2 Peter Schmeichel Manchester United 15
3 Ludek Miklosko West Ham United 14
4 Tim Flowers Southampton & Blackburn Rovers 13
5 Hans Segers Wimbledon 12
6= Steve Ogrizovic Coventry City 11
6= Dimitri Kharine Chelsea 11
6= Neville Southall Wimbledon 11
9= Mark Bosnich Aston Villa 10
9= Bryan Gunn Norwich City 10

Seasonal Records: 1992-1993

For all the statistical fans out there, here are some of the season’s records from the very first Premier League campaign – the 1992/1993 season.

FINAL TABLE

Position Team P W D L F A GD PTS
1 Manchester United 42 24 12 6 67 31 +36 84
2 Aston Villa 42 21 11 10 57 40 +17 74
3 Norwich City 42 21 9 12 61 65 -4 72
4 Blackburn Rovers 42 20 11 11 68 46 +22 71
5 Queens Park Rangers 42 17 12 13 63 55 +8 63
6 Liverpool FC 42 16 11 15 62 55 +7 59
7 Sheffield Wednesday 42 15 14 13 55 51 +4 59
8 Tottenham Hotspur 42 16 11 15 60 66 -6 59
9 Manchester City 42 15 12 15 56 51 +5 57
10 Arsenal 42 15 11 16 40 38 +2 56
11 Chelsea 42 14 14 14 51 54 -3 56
12 Wimbledon 42 14 12 16 56 55 +1 54
13 Everton 42 15 8 19 53 55 -2 53
14 Sheffield United 42 14 10 18 54 53 +1 52
15 Coventry City 42 13 13 16 52 57 -5 52
16 Ipswich Town 42 12 16 14 50 55 -5 52
17 Leeds United 42 12 15 15 57 62 -5 51
18 Southampton 42 13 11 18 54 61 -7 50
19 Oldham Athletic 42 13 10 19 63 74 -11 49
20 Crystal Palace 42 11 16 15 48 61 -13 49
21 Middlesbrough 42 11 11 20 54 75 -21 44
22 Nottingham Forest 42 10 10 22 41 62 -21 40

 

THE BASIC STATS

Goals Scored 1,222
Average goals per game 2.65
European qualifiers Manchester United (UEFA Champions League)

Aston Villa (UEFA Cup)

Norwich City (UEFA Cup)

Arsenal (UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup)

Longest winning run 7 games (Manchester United & Sheffield Wednesday)
Longest unbeaten run 11 games (Manchester United)
Longest winless run 13 games (Ipswich Town)
Longest losing run 6 games (Nottingham Forest)
Highest attendance 44,619 (Liverpool FC vs. Everton)
Lowest attendance 3,039 (Wimbledon vs. Everton)

 

AWARDS

PFA Players’ Player of the Year 1.     Paul McGrath (Aston Villa)

2.     Paul Ince (Manchester United)

3.     Alan Shearer (Blackburn Rovers)

PFA Young Player of the Year 1.     Ryan Giggs (Manchester United)

2.     Nick Barmby (Tottenham Hotspur)

3.     Roy Keane (Nottingham Forest)

Football Writers’ Award 1.     Chris Waddle (Sheffield Wednesday)

2.     Paul McGrath (Aston Villa)

3.     Ryan Giggs (Manchester United)

PFA Team of the Year Peter Schmeichel, David Bardsley, Gary Pallister, Tony Dorigo, Paul McGrath, Paul Ince, Roy Keane, Gary Speed, Ryan Giggs, Alan Shearer, Ian Wright
Manager of the Year Alex Ferguson (Manchester United)
LMA Manager of the Year Dave Bassett (Sheffield United)
Goal of the Season Dalian Atkinson (Wimbledon vs. ASTON VILLA)

 

HAT-TRICK HEROES

Player Teams Score Date
Eric Cantona Leeds United vs. Tottenham Hotspur 5-0 25th August 1992
Mark Robins Oldham Athletic vs. Norwich City 2-3 8th November 1992
John Hendrie Middlesbrough vs. Blackburn Rovers 3-2 5th December 1992
Andy Sinton Queens Park Rangers vs. Everton 4-2 28th December 1992
Brian Deane Sheffield United vs. Ipswich Town 3-0 16th January 1993
Teddy Sheringham Tottenham Hotspur vs. Ipswich Town 4-0 20th February 1993
Gordon Strachan Leeds United vs. Blackburn Rovers 5-2 10th April 1993
Les Ferdinand Queens Park Rangers vs. Nottingham Forest 4-3 10th April 1993
Chris Bart-Williams Sheffield Wednesday vs. Southampton 5-2 12th April 1993
Les Ferdinand Everton vs. Queens Park Rangers 3-5 12th April 1993
Chris Sutton Norwich City vs. Leeds United 4-2 14th April 1993
Mark Walters Liverpool FC vs. Coventry City 4-0 17th April 1993
Rod Wallace Coventry City vs. Leeds United 3-3 8th May 1993
Matt Le Tissier Oldham Athletic vs. Southampton 4-3 8th May 1993

 

TOP SCORERS

Position Player Teams No of Goals
1 Teddy Sheringham Nottingham Forest & Tottenham Hotspur 22
2 Les Ferdinand Queens Park Rangers 20
3 Dean Holdsworth Wimbledon 19
4 Micky Quinn Coventry City 17
5= Alan Shearer Blackburn Rovers 16
5= David White Manchester City 16
7= Chris Armstrong Crystal Palace 15
7= Mark Hughes Manchester United 15
7= Brian Deane Sheffield United 15
7= Eric Cantona Leeds United & Manchester United 15
7= Mark Robins Norwich City 15
7= Matt Le Tissier Southampton 15
7= Ian Wright Arsenal 15
7= Paul Wilkinson Middlesbrough 15
15= Dean Saunders Liverpool FC & Aston Villa 14
15= Ian Rush Liverpool FC 14
15= Lee Chapman Leeds United 14
18 Mike Newell Blackburn Rovers 13
19= Tony Cottee Everton 12
19= Ian Olney Oldham Athletic 12
19= Mark Bright Crystal Palace & Sheffield Wednesday 12
22= Mike Sheron Manchester City 11
22= Kevin Gallacher Coventry City & Blackburn Rovers 11
22= David Hirst Sheffield Wednesday 11
22= Iain Dowie Southampton 11

BIGGEST VICTORIES

Blackburn Rovers 7-1 Norwich City 3rd October 1992
Sheffield United 6-0 Tottenham Hotspur 2nd March 1993
Manchester United 5-0 Coventry City 28th December 1992
Liverpool FC 5-0 Crystal Palace 28th November 1992
Leeds United 5-0 Tottenham Hotspur 25th August 1992
Liverpool FC 6-2 Tottenham Hotspur 8th May 1993
Oldham Athletic 6-2 Wimbledon 3rd April 1993
Aston Villa 5-1 Middlesbrough 17th January 1993
Tottenham Hotspur 5-1 Norwich City 9th April 1993
Coventry City 5-1 Liverpool FC 19th December 1992

 

HIGHEST SCORING GAMES

No of Goals Teams Date
8 Blackburn Rovers 7-1 Norwich City 3rd October 1992
8 Everton 3-5 Queens Park Rangers 12th April 1993
8 Liverpool FC 6-2 Tottenham Hotspur 8th May 1993
8 Oldham Athletic 5-3 Nottingham Forest 22nd August 1992
8 Oldham Athletic 6-2 Wimbledon 3rd April 1993
7 Wimbledon 5-2 Oldham Athletic 12th December 1992
7 Arsenal 4-3 Southampton 20th March 1993
7 Leeds United 5-2 Blackburn Rovers 10th April 1993
7 Sheffield Wednesday 5-2 Southampton 12th April 1993
7 Oldham Athletic 4-3 Southampton 8th May 1993
7 Southampton 4-3 Ipswich Town 13th March 1993
7 Queens Park Rangers 4-3 Nottingham Forest 10th April 1993
7 Manchester City 2-5 Everton 8th May 1993
7 Blackburn Rovers 2-5 Coventry City 26th January 1993

 

YOUNGEST PLAYERS USED

Player Teams Age at the time Date
Chris Price Crystal Palace 3-3 Blackburn Rovers 16 years, 9 months, 22 days 15th August 1992
Rob Bowman Wimbledon 1-0 Leeds United 17 years, 2 months, 13 days 6th February 1993
Gavin McGowan Sheffield Wednesday 1-0 Arsenal 17 years, 3 months, 20 days 6th May 1993
Andy Turner Southampton 0-0 Tottenham Hotspur 17 years, 4 months, 23 days 15th August 1992
Willie Boland Chelsea 2-1 Coventry City 17 years, 8 months, 25 days 1st May 1993
Nicky Butt Manchester United 3-0 Oldham Athletic 17 years, 8 months, 23 days 21st November 1992
George Ndah Liverpool FC 5-0 Crystal Palace 17 years, 8 months, 25 days 28th November 1992
Tony Sheridan Leeds United 2-2 Coventry City 17 years, 10 months 31st October 1992
Neal Bartlett Southampton 0-1 Manchester City 17 years, 11 months, 5 days 1st May 1993
Chris Bart-Williams Everton 1-1 Sheffield Wednesday 18 years, 10 days 15th August 1992

 

OLDEST PLAYERS USED

Player Teams Age at the time Date
Trevor Francis Ipswich Town 0-1 Sheffield Wednesday 38 years, 10 months, 19 days 10th March 1993
Mervyn Day Everton 2-0 Leeds United 37 years, 6 months, 21 days 16th January 1993
Kevin Moran Manchester United 3-1 Blackburn Rovers 37 years, 4 days 3rd May 1993
Peter Reid Manchester City 1-1 Wimbledon 36 years, 10 months, 1 day 21st April 1993
Viv Anderson Queens Park Rangers 3-1 Sheffield Wednesday 36 years, 9 months, 12 days 11th May 1993
Gerry Peyton Chelsea 0-2 Sheffield Wednesday 36 years, 8 months, 10 days 30th January 1993
Ray Wilkins Queens Park Rangers 3-1 Sheffield Wednesday 36 years, 7 months, 27 days 11th May 1993
Bryan Robson Wimbledon 1-2 Manchester United 36 years, 3 months, 27 days 8th May 1993
Gordon Strachan Liverpool FC 2-0 Leeds United 26 years, 2 months, 12 days 21st April 1993
John Wark Ipswich Town 2-1 Nottingham Forest 35 years, 9 months, 4 days 8th May 1993

 

CLEAN SHEETS

Position Player Teams No of Clean Sheets
1 Bobby Mimms Blackburn Rovers 19
2 Peter Schmeichel Manchester United 18
3 David Seaman Arsenal 15
4 Hans Segers Wimbledon 13
5 Neville Southall Everton 12
6= John Lukic Leeds United 11
6= Tony Coton Manchester City 11
6= Bryan Gunn Norwich City 11
6= Nigel Martyn Crystal Palace 11
10 Erik Thorstvedt Tottenham Hotspur 10

The Managers: Brian Little

Premier League Clubs Managed: Leicester City (1994), Aston Villa (1994-1998)

Brian Little spent his entire playing career at Aston Villa. He played 247 times for the Villans from 1970 to 1980, winning two League Cups and the Third Division in 1972.

Aston Villa has been a huge part of his life, both as a player and a manager. Today, he is back at the club for a third different role, acting as an advisor on the board.

His early management days began with a caretaker stint at Wolverhampton Wanderers in August 1986 but it was at Darlington where he began to make a name for himself. Brian achieved back-to-back promotions to the old Third Division.

Third time lucky

In June 1991, he got the role as boss of Leicester City and a story of near-misses would follow in the dreaded playoffs. At the end of his first full season, he took the Foxes’ to the Second Division final against cash-rich Blackburn Rovers. The winner from the Wembley showdown would be promoted into the first season of the FA Premier League.

Mike Newell’s spot-kick settled the match in Blackburn’s favour and they would end up playing in the inaugural campaign. If Leicester had won, who knows what would have happened but it is unlikely Blackburn would have achieved the success they did if they hadn’t been promoted from this match.

If 1992 hurt, 1993 would be even more painful. Having trailed 3-0 in the playoff final, Leicester levelled the match with Swindon Town, before eventually going down 4-3 to Glenn Hoddle’s men. This time, Leicester were seen as favourites pre-match so this was an even bigger disappointment.

Foxes’ supporters were getting used to the Wembley journey every May. They were back in 1994 for a final with East Midlands rivals Derby County. Finally, it was third time lucky. A 2-1 victory meant Little had guided Leicester into the Premier League.

Life was going to be tough and it became evident very quickly that the quality of the playing squad simply wasn’t Premier League material, despite impressive individual displays over the season from the likes of Mark Draper and Julian Joachim. There were just two wins from their first 10 matches and Leicester quickly became a regular fixture in the relegation zone.

In November 1994, Ron Atkinson was dismissed by Doug Ellis at Aston Villa. As a former player, Little was immediately linked to the Villa Park post despite being under contract to Leicester. On 22 November, three days after a 1-0 home defeat to Manchester City, he resigned his position as Leicester manager to manoeuvre a switch to the club he endeared the most. He was back at Filbert Street in the visiting dugout less than a fortnight later and it is fair to say it wasn’t a generous welcome back either.

Big reshape

Little inherited an Aston Villa squad that was beginning to show its age. The club was fighting a relegation battle and he quickly realised the predicament. He failed to win any of his first five games with Villa, with three goals only scored in this period. A more positive run of just one defeat in nine followed which guided the club into mid-table and won him the January 1995 Manager of the Month award. Then, a nightmare run saw no Villa player score in eight successive matches. A 2-0 victory over Liverpool FC on the penultimate weekend was ultimately enough to keep the club up.

A big reshape was needed in the summer of 1995. The likes of Ray Houghton, Garry Parker, Earl Barrett and Dean Saunders were moved on and in came Draper and Joachim from his former club Leicester, along with Gareth Southgate, Alan Wright and Savo Milosevic. 1995-1996 was the most successful season for many years at Villa Park. The club won their second League Cup in three years with a 3-0 triumph over Leeds United at Wembley. They also finished a fantastic fourth in the Premier League and still had a realistic outside title shot until a 3-0 loss at Anfield in early March to a rampant Liverpool FC and Robbie Fowler. Fowler would go on to crush the club’s FA Cup hopes too with a semi-final hat-trick at Old Trafford. However, huge strides had been made.

Unfortunately, Brian couldn’t quite take it onto the next level, even though he got the best out of Dwight Yorke who combined well with Milosevic and formed the central defensive partnership of Southgate and Ugo Ehiogu which would excel in the Premier League for the next decade. A fifth-place finish followed in 1996-1997 but 1997-1998 was a big disappointment. The £7million signing of Stan Collymore didn’t pay off and with the club in the bottom half by February 1998, Little decided to resign, feeling he couldn’t take the club further. His former assistant John Gregory returned to the club and turned results around. Villa finished eighth and qualified for the UEFA Cup for a third consecutive campaign.

After Villa, further management spells would follow outside the top-flight at Stoke City, West Bromwich Albion, Hull City, Tranmere Rovers, Wrexham and Gainsborough Trinity. Little’s last management position was back in 2011.

Now back for a third stint at Aston Villa, Little only has a watching brief but will be hoping Steve Bruce can get the club back into the top-flight following their wretched 2015-2016 season that ended with relegation to the Championship. A manager who did the job with the minimum of fuss, Brian Little’s time at Aston Villa is often undervalued but he did very well to stabilise the club into a top Premier League contender throughout the mid-90s.